Sunday, December 31, 2006
I spent this weekend in Cleveland watching my alma mater completely dominate a school in the Big East. Ohio brought balanced scoring, tenacious defense and the most important thing a team needs to do, make free throws.
I was particularly impressed with a couple of players, three actually. Leon Williams couldn't be handled by anyone on the UC team. He was fouled virtually every time he touched the ball in the paint. Of course, it wasn't always called. But when he went to the line, Leon was 'money', 12 of 15 from the line. Leon also hauled down 12-rebounds and managed a couple of blocks and a couple of assists.
Whitney Davis looked sharp too. He's got a unique style handling the ball, but he not only gets it into his playmakers hands, he also can score.
Jerome Tillman was solid and so was Sonny Troutman. I made the observation after watching Ohio defeat Bellermine earlier this year: Troutman may have a sweet lefthanded shot and he will penetrate the lane, but his best weapon is the pass. He's very unselfish.
I spent some time talking with Tim O'Shea. The Bobcats head coach told me there wasn't any secret to his defense on UC. Like Ohio did with Louisville, the Bobcats packed it in tight and allowed the Bearcats to try and beat them with the three ball. Neither team, historically, has shot well from the outside. The strategy worked.
It was great visiting with some other coaches. I got to talk with Kevin Kuwik and Brian Townsend. Brian said he grew up watching me on television (ouch!), while he was a stand out athlete at Cincinnati's Northwest High School.
I got a chance to visit again with assistant coach Doug Dewey, who was a standout athlete at Cincinnati's Glen Este High School. Terrific guy and is learning a lot from the other coaches on the Ohio staff.
Bubba Walther said the same thing too. That was a little easier to take, considering Bubba isn't that far removed from Moeller.
Ohio will play deep into March. I've seen Miami play. Charlie Coles will get everything that team has, but I don't see the RedHawks being any kind of factor. But with solid wins over a Big East team (UC) and an Atlantic 10 team (St Joe's), Ohio has laid the ground work for a great run through the MAC. Bobcat fans should be stoked.
By the way, the Ohio football team leaves Tuesday for the GMAC Bowl. If you live in central and southern Ohio, I'm filling in this Thursday and Friday morning on 1530 Homer WCKY. Ohio head football coach, Frank Solich, will be my 'live' guest from Mobile at 9:10am this Thursday. If you don't live here in the greater Cincinnati area, you can catch it on line.
I'll have more on the Bobcats later in the week on my The Broo View podcast, which you can catch on my web site, www.kenbroo.com.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
But the Bearcats were just too fast and shot a whole lot better than Miami (48%-39%). Big East rookie of the week, Deonta Vaughn struggled, only 2-9 from the field. But big man, Marcus Sikes turned in a nice effort: 15 points and ten rebounds in 34-minutes of work.
Up next for the Bearcats, a game in Cleveland Saturday night against Ohio. The Bobcats blew out an over matched Rhode Island team in Athens tonight.
Carson Palmer said the same thing today that Willie Anderson said on Sunday, after that loss in Denver. The Bengals need to make changes before next season begins. Carson didn't elaborate, but it's clear he's talking about personnel, philosophy and attitude.
I still don't see the Jets and Broncos losing Sunday, which means this season is over for the Bengals by sundown, New Year's Eve.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Yep, the Bengals remain alive in the wild card race. But reality says their chances of playing past New Year's Eve are remote. By losing in Denver, the Bengals now have to win and hope the Jets lose. Fat chance on that, as the Jets play a Raiders team that hasn't won a road game all year.
If that doesn't work out, then the Bengals have to hope the 49ers can go to Denver and beat the Broncos AND Kansas City can beat Jacksonville in KC. It's all that and begins with the Bengals beating the Steelers here in Cincinnati Sunday.
I can't see how a Jets team, that had to battle to the final moment Monday night for a win that kept destiny in their own hands, turns around and loses at home to the worst team in the NFL.
And while Denver hasn't been dominant at home this season (just 4-3), I can't see the Broncos stumbling given the fact that they got a gift from the Bengals last Sunday.
Could it happen? Could the Bengals sneak in and grab that 6th seed and the final wild card spot? Sure. But the gap between could and will appears to be rather wide. Logic would dictate that planning for 2007 in Bengal-dom will begin New Year's Day
Thursday, December 21, 2006
I know this guy is good. I've watched him play for the last couple of years. This is a major 'get' for Ohio coach Frank Solich.
It's good to be a Bobcat
For a couple of low level minor leaguers, the Reds got the well traveled Conine from the Phillies today. They'll also take on the final year of his two million dollar contract.
He'll play a little first base, a little outfield and come off the bench to pinch hit. It's not a signing that will rock anyone world. But it could be a nice piece, IF they can find some bigger ones (like a 'closer')
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
9-7 COULD get an AFC team in. But the tie breakers may not all fall the Bengals way. And certainly, if the Bengals end up 9-7, their ninth win must come against Denver, as the Broncos are pretty much in the same boat as Cincinnati.
Can the Bengals go to Denver and win this week? Sure. Honestly, with the exception of the loss to the Colts Monday night, the Bengals haven't played a team this season they couldn't have beaten. Will the Bengals beat the Broncos? I saw nothing Monday night that would lead me to believe they will. The Colts, notoriously a finesse rather than a power team, pushed the Bengals all over the RCA Dome turf. Peyton Manning systematically picked the Bengals apart, running up 394 yards of total offense. The Colts converted on 3rd down 50 percent of the time.
Worse, was what the Bengals offense did, or didn't do. It didn't run with any consistency and failed to protect Carson Palmer. He was not only sacked, he was hit on a lot of plays. Chad Johnson and T.J.Houshmandzadeh were reduced to rumors.
Remember, still lurking is Pittsburgh. And the Steelers could come into Cincinnati New Year's Eve with a mathmatical chance to make the playoffs themselves. At the very least, they could play a large hand in whether or not the Bengals play on.
But it begins with Denver. If the Bengals lose to the Broncos, the Broncos gain the tie breaker over Cincinnati. Denver finishes with a weak 49ers team, in Colorado. The Jaguars and Jets remain the other contenders for 'cards'. While the Jags have a little tougher road remaining than the Jets, both could wind up with 10-6 records.
The wiggle room for the Bengals is gone. For them, the playoffs begin Sunday, in Denver.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
The latest episode of Bengals Report is up and running. It's a great preview of this Monday night's game at Indianapolis against the Colts. That should be one of the best games of the season. You can download the latest Bengals Report here, if you're in a hurry.
Also on www.kenbroo.com is the latest Broo View podcast. I've got some thoughts on where the Bengals are right now and how the playoffs are shaping up.
And, last but certainly not least is the latest episode of Broo v. Broo. There are some hot topics in this latest show, including who'll make the NFL playoffs, how ludicrous some of the arguments are against a playoff in Division I college football and some holiday gifts for the sports fan in your life.
It's all at www.kenbroo.com!
Some random thoughts on the last few days in the world of sports...Xavier is better than it played in the Crosstown shootout and UC is still a work in progress. The proof was in the Muskies win over Arizona State Saturday night and the Bearcats thrashing at the hands of Ohio State....Former Cincinnati high school standout Bill Walker plays his first college game Sunday for Bob Huggins at Kansas State. Walker is the same kid who was begging the Ohio High School Athletic Association for another year of eligibility only three months ago....The longer the University of Alabama waits to name a new head football coach, the more I believe it's going to be the Miami Dolphins lead dog, Nick Saban...Michael Vick voluntarily left the Falcons game against the Cowboys Saturday night with his team down 10, inside of two minutes and it had the ball. Vick apparently injured his groin but was lambasted, rightfully so, by none other than Deion Sanders for that move...
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Pollack cracked his vertebrae making a tackle against the Cleveland Browns in September. Since then, he's had full range of motion, but has been wearing a halo protective device to immobilize his neck. It was hoped that would be all that was needed for Pollack to heal. It hasn't worked.
In the next few weeks, he'll have his surgery. He'll be able to lead a normal life. But a doctor familiar with Pollack's upcoming surgery says he'll have little chance of playing football again.
Tough news for a tough guy, with talent enough to have been the Bengals number one draft pick in 2005. We wish him only the best.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
It's so bad now, the NFL Commissioner has weighed in. In an interview with the national writer for the Associated Press, Roger Goodell said Tuesday night "Obviously when you have incidents that don't reflect well on the National Football League, you have to deal with that aggressively. Our players and coaches are seen at a higher level by the public."
Goodell says he called Mike Brown Monday, after cornerback Deltha O'Neal was arrested early Saturday on an alleged DUI. Goodell says he told the Bengals owner that he'd do anything he could to help Brown fix the situation. But the new commissioner left know doubt that he's laid down the law to Brown.
Goodell has particular reason to be peeved. Less than three months ago, on a stop in Cincinnati he spoke to the entire team about the proper conduct off the field. That was after Chris Henry's four arrests, Odell Thurman's four game suspension for flunking several drug or alcohol tests and after five other Bengals had off the field scrapes with the local law. Five days after Goodell's talk, Thurman drove into a check point and was picked up DUI. He's currently serving a year long suspension.
Just published tonight on my web site, www.kenbroo.com is the latest Broo View podcast. You can find it on the menu bar's "Podcasts & More".
Monday, December 11, 2006
And their situation hasn't changed much since that meltdown loss to the Chargers. Even then, they knew this stretch was coming and here it is. The Bengals remaining games are at Indianapolis, at Denver and home with the Steelers. In a nutshell, they'll have to win one of the two remaing road games and then, take care of business at home on New Year's Eve against the Steelers.
First take on that Indy game? Run Rudi getting off the bus. The Colts have forgotten how to stop the run. They allowed the Jaguars to rush for 375 yards Sunday! 375 yards is a great number for total offense. The Jags simply carved up the Colts alleged defense. Rudi Johnson should be able to do the same.
While watching my Ohio Bobcats defeat Bellarmine on Saturday, I bumped into an Ohio University living legend. Vern Alden was at the game. Ohio's rapid growth in student enrollment and facilities occured under President Alden's watch in the late 1960's. And he is a big sports fans. Legend has it, Alden once dispatched his sports information director to New York City to meet with the Times sports editor to lobby for coverage of Ohio University sporting events. Alden even commissioned a panel on campus to study the feasibility of joining the Big Ten Conference. The school library on the Athens campus carries his name. I asked him where he's living now. Boston, he told me. And he asked me where I was going to be a year from now (always a dicey question for anyone in the line of work I do). Don't know, I answered. Alden said he knew exactly where he would be: Hawaii. That's apparently where the Ohio Bobcats will play next basketball season. I'm checking on flights right now!
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Also, just posted the latest edition of BROO v. BROO, 'the' most opinionated sports show in cyberspace. Head on over to www.kenbroo.com and click on 'podcasts and more'. You'll find the latest edition of this show, there!
Just back from Louisville where I watched my Ohio Bobcats beat up on Bellarmine. I caught the Friday night game against Louisville, too.
Some thoughts? Ohio outhustled, outcoached and outplayed the Cardinals Friday night. They were done in by two things: their inability to finish plays and no points from the bench. Their match zone defense just about mesmerized the Cardinals and will be a blue print for Big East teams this season.
Saturday, Ohio set a school record by hitting over 72-percent of its shots. The bench was better, contributing 26-points in the win. Jerome Tillman was very impressive. He has the muscle to create havoc in the paint. His 23 were large. I liked the way Stephen King shoots the ball. When he gets a good 'look' it went in, at least today. Freshman Kenneth van Kempen is going to be good. He's raw now, but he has quick feet and he can hit from outside, always a valued commodity in a big man.
And a word about Sonny Troutman, who seems to draw ire from some Ohio fans. I heard him described as 'distant' and 'sometimes disinterested'. This guy can play. He seems totally into it whenever I've seen him play. He clearly has ball handling skills and he selfishlessly seems to find the open man. And Troutman isn't afraid to take on the 'trees' in the lane, challenging big men with drives both Friday and Saturday (his one drive to the basket today for a scoop was nothing short of breathtaking).
It was good to be able to see and talk with a number of Ohio fans who made the trip to the 'Ville for the NABC tournament. It wasn't a large Ohio crowd, but it was boisterous.
I don't know it's going to shake out for Ohio in the MAC. The Bobcats appear to be still searching for a point guard and they got caught a few too many times Saturday by the 'cutter'. But to come with a whisker of beating Louisville on its home court and then following that up with a record shooting day on Saturday is very encouraging. I've got court side seats in Cleveland for the Ohio-Cincinnati game. That will be another good test for the Bobcats.
It was a small but boisterous Ohio gathering in the Freedom Hall stands. I wish we could've stayed on for the Sunday game against St. Joe's. But, we've got the Bengals on the field Sunday. At least we've got the Bengals not in jail on the field Sunday.
One word on the Deltha O'Neal arrest: stupid. I have no idea whether he's guilty or innocent. The larger question is why did he put himself in that situation? For the second time in two months, a Bengals player who'd been out late drove into a well publicized DUI check point.
I believe it can be said now with certainty that there is a problem on this team. The Bengals are a team populated with too many poor decision makers. And that behavior is the kind of thing that prevents good teams from becoming great, and contenders from becoming champions. There is no longer an argument that these are only isolated incidents from a handful of players. You now have a problem that cuts through that team with a wide swath: stand out stars like O'Neal and Odell Thurman, gifted young players like Chris Henry and rookies that have brought their troubles to Cincinnati like Frostee Rucker.
I hope the Bengals make the playoffs and make a run at a championship this season. But I hope more, for this team to start behaving like a championship team. Believe it or not, the latter is more important than the former.
The Reds are taking a flyer on former phenom, Josh Hamilton. He was the first pick in the 1999 amateur draft who arrived in Tampa with a 'can't miss' label. But then, Hamilton quickly fell into a life of drug abuse, a disease that affected him so badly, he missed four full seasons of baseball. The Rays gave up on him, let the Cubs snag him off their roster this week and Chicago promptly dealt Hamilton to the Reds. It cost the reds $50,000. But if Hamilton is clean and can even approach the talent he once had (he's only 26), it could be a steal. Consider Hamilton a lottery ticket. He didn't cost a lot. His payoff could be enormous.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
In the Rule V draft, which basically allows a team to snag an unprotected player off another team's roster, the Cubs picked up outfielder, Josh Hamilton. Immediately, they dealt Hamilton to the Reds for money.
Hamilton was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 1999. He was a phenom, can't miss the kind of player you'd build a franchise around. Hamilton hasn't played in an organized game of professional baseball in almost five years.
He was suspended for four of those five years for repeated drug use and missed all of last season with a knee injury. Sober now for just over a year, the Reds are taking a flyer on the former 'can't miss kid'. Hamilton was drafted as a outfielder, but recently has spent time at catcher and he can pitch. He's done all of that, while playing for independent league teams.
Hamilton got a signing bonus of almost $4 million in 1999. As of last summer, he had about $85,000 of it left.
He's never played above "A" ball. The Reds will take him to spring training and if he looks like he's got anything left (he's only 26), they'll attempt to work out a deal with the Devil Rays, who'd get Hamilton back if he failed to make the Reds major league roster.
It's not an amazing story. It's a sad story, that has a chance for a happy ending, if Hamilton doesn't blow this latest chance.
Though Kelley Washington should be back by Sunday (he didn't practice in the 11 on 11 drills today), the other injured Bengals might have to get another weekend off. It doesn't look like CB Deltha O'Neal or OT Levi Jones will answer the bell against the 2-10 Raiders.
I'm off to see the my Ohio Bobcats take on the University of Louisville Friday night in Freedom Hall. I'm also staying to watch the 'Cats take on Bellermaine on Saturday. Coach Tim O'Shea's team got its first road win Wednesday night, a squeaker at St. Bonaventure. They'll play a third game in the 'ville on Sunday afternoon, against St. Joe's of Pennsylvania
Keep an eye on my web site www.kenbroo.com for a new Bengals Report Podcast. It should be posted by mid day Friday. Also on Friday, we'll have a new Broo vs Broo, the most opionionated sports show in cyberspace.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
The latest Bengals Report, second of the week, has just been published on my web site, www.kenbroo.com. It's on the front page, right hand corner, easy to find. If you're in a hurry, just click here. It'll take you right to it.
Headlines: Marvin Lewis believes his team still has a shot to win the AFC North. Statistically, he's correct. In fact, the Bengals could be within a game of the lead Sunday night. A win over the Raiders coupled with a Ravens loss at Kansas City would leave the Bengals a game back with three to play. But, looming are those two road games at Indianpolis and Denver.
Levi Jones is out again this week. Rich Braham is out, too. But Kelley Washington is back, for the first time since October 15th. His injured hamstring is finally healed.
I don't know what I'm getting for Christmas. So I took care of myself today. I've bought tickets to watch my beloved Ohio Bobcats at Louisville this Friday and Saturday. 'Cats against the Cards on Friday. Then Saturday in the NABC Classic, it's Ohio against Bellermaine. After I dropped $125 on that, I figure, what the hell, and bought two courtside seats to the Ohio vs Cincinnati game in Cleveland December 30th. I'm anxious to see what kind of mix coach Tim O'Shea has this season. I really, really like Sonny Troutman's game, when he's into it. Sometimes, though, he seems to get lost on the court. Also want to catch junior forward Leon Williams. Last time I saw him in person, he dropped 29 on Buffalo.
No deals so far today for the Reds. The Mark Loretta rumor is just that, same for the Eric Gagne scenario. I'm told Barry Bond's agent has his client in tow, making the rounds at the winter baseball meetings in Orlando. Other than putting pressure on the Giants, I don't know what that accomplishes. Who would want him?
Monday, December 04, 2006
UC football has fallen on hard times, from an attendance standpoint. Not enough fringe fans attend games and there hard core base isn't as big as it used to be. It's a shame. Nippert Stadium is one of the great places to watch a college game. There've been some terrific coaches in the last 20 years and a lot of terrific players. But UC has never been able to capture enough 'buzz' in the city to make going to its football games 'the thing to do. Kelly's wide open approach to offense may change that. Good hire.
The latest Bengals Report is up and running on my web site: www.kenbroo.com. If you're in a hurry, just click here and it'll take you right to our latest podcast.
The latest Broo View podcast will be up and running no later than mid day Tuesday.
More coming later tonight!
Thursday, November 30, 2006
The Bengals game with the Ravens has a score that appears to suggest a boring game, 13-7 Cincinnati. But as far as defensive games go, this was pretty entertaining. Some observations:
1: Baltimore played far too passively on defense. It did little to disrupt Carson Palmer's rythym. I had the sense the Ravens felt this was a game they really didn't need to win the AFC North division. And if you look at their remaining games, you'll see why. It's a very forgiving schedule.
2: Carson Palmer is over his knee injury. We now have four solid weeks of proof of that. Against a terrific Baltimore defense, he threw well. Yep, the Bengals scored only one touchdown. But Palmer picked apart a very good Ravens secondary.
3: The win did nothing to appreciably help the Bengals playoff chances. They had to win this game to remain in the hunt. But they're still digging themselves out of the hole they were in a month ago. In their final four games, Cincinnati must go 3-1 to have any shot at the post season. And we know two of those games remaining are on the road at Indianapolis and at Denver. The odds are still against this team making the post season. But the Bengals are alive.
As for the MAC Championship game, it was a long night for the Ohio Bobcats. Their top quarterback, Austen Everson left the game early. He's not over his leg problem. And the Bobcats turned the ball over way too many times to expect to win. Central Michigan exploited the Ohio secondary and seems to attack the Bobcats at their strength: linebackers.
Tough loss to be sure. But this team played with a lot of heart. It never seems to give up, which is the greatest compliment you can give a head coach. With five weeks to go before their bowl game, I have no doubt Frank Solich will have the troops ready.
He's only a junior. But Ohio running back, Kalvin McRae has a chance to play on Sundays. He is the real deal.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Also, just posted on my web site is the latest edition of Broo v Broo. The opinions are flying fast and furious on this week's NFL match-ups, as well as the latest in college football. UC and Ohio get plenty of play this week. You can find it at www.kenbroo.com under the "Podcasts & More" category.
Bengals are getting healthier. It appears Brian Simmons will be able to play Thursday night against the Ravens. The game will be televised on WLWT Channel 5 in Cincinnati. At 7pm, I'll host a 'live' special from Paul Brown Stadium to get you ready for the game.
Major blow to the UC football program today. Seven assistant coaches have left to join Mark Dantonio, immediately. Left behind are only interim head coach Pat Narduzzi and one other assistant, believed to be the strength coach. Narduzzi has informed UC Athletic Director, Mike Thomas, he has until December 6th to decide whether or not he wants Narduzzi as the Bearcats new head coach. If Narduzzi doesn't hear by then, he says he'll join Dantonio's staff too.
Here's the amazing part: UC is not holding the current assistants to their contract, which run through January, 2007. Rather, they've let them go and will allow them to come back to UC for one week prior to whatever bowl game UC is sent to. Can you imagine a Division I school allowing its football team to be coached by coaches from another Division I college? Will Thomas allow these guys who skated on him to use their same officies, when they come back for their one week encore? Unbelievable.
On the other hand, the Ohio Bobcats are in Detroit tonight, getting ready for their MAC Championship showdown with Central Michigan. It's a match up of coaches that seem to be on separate paths. CMU's Brian Kelly is a hot ticket, coming close to getting the head coaches' job at Michigan State, as well as Iowa State. Frank Solich has found a home in Athens, and has played the coaching carousel game. I think this will be a coach's game. Sure the players will ultimately determine who wins and who loses. But Solich's deliberate ball control offense and his attention to detail on defense should be the difference. Don't get me wrong, Central is very good. But as active as the Ohio front seven is, I think it will be difficult for CMU to get its vertical passing game going.
This will more or less be a road game for Ohio, with CMU located right down the road from Ford Field. No problem for the Bobcats. They're road warriors. Ask Kent, Illinois, Northern Illinois and Miami.
First Tri-State High School football team to play for a state championship this weekend, the Ryle Raiders in Kentucky AAAA. Good luck to Bryson Warner's team. We'll have the highlights Thursday night at 11p, on WLWT Channel 5 in Cincinnati
Busy, busy day Thursday.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Think about it. This is Wild Card weekend in the NFL. By the time this game kicks off, on a Sunday evening, all of the NFL games will be over. The GMAC bowl will be the only game on television. It will be the perfect recruiting tool for head coach Frank Solich and his staff. You have no idea how large that is for the Ohio football program.
I watched a satellite feed the Ohio athletic department provided to TV stations all across the country today. Absolute, unabashed joy on the faces of the players, Solich and Ohio Athletic Director, Kirby Hocutt. Incidentally, having a satellite uplink truck puts Ohio light years ahead of the other schools in the MAC. This too, is a great recruiting tool.
If you're a displaced Bobcat, I've just been alerted to a great web site to keep track of the Bobcats. It is: http://www.bobcatattack.com.
I just checked it out. http://www.bobcatattack.com is big league. Memo to WinkyN: legendary is how you define it. Maybe you are too!
Rip 'em up, tear 'em up give 'em hell Ohio!
Latest from the Bengals: Levi Jones and Bobbie Williams both officially 'out' for Thursday night. DT John Thornton is 'doubtful' (means one chance in four he plays). Rich Braham, Deltha O'Neal and Tony Stewart, all 'questionable' (which means 50-50).
All Ravens injuries are 'questionable'. Anybody listed as 'questionable' at this point usually plays.
Remember, if you're in Cincinnati, the game will be televised on WLWT Channel 5. At 7pm, we'll have a pre-game special "Ready To Roar". We've got interviews with all the big names and our "live" guest list will include Sam Wyche. Pending are Nick Lachey, who's singing the National Anthem and Bootsy Collins.
Solich has been named the Mid American Conference coach of the year. The Bobcats record is now 9-3, with a chance to hit double digit wins this Thursday night.
A little history lesson. Ohio was once the biggest, baddest little college football program in America. You have to go back to 1960 to appreciate that, when the Bobcats had the best "small college" team in the USA. Today, all Division I programs are on the same level, all play for the same national championship. But back in '60, there was no mid major football team better than Ohio's. In 1968, under Bill Hess, a disciple of Woody Hayes, the Bobcats won the MAC and went to the Tangerine Bowl. The long nightmare began soon after.
In 1973, Ohio went 5-5. I know, I was the color commentator on their radio broadcasts. I remember going to Chicago with the 'Cats when they were 29 point underdogs to a very mediocre Northwestern University team. Ohio beat Northwestern, by four points if I remember correctly and Hess was named the national coach of the week. A large man, Hess was asked if he was disappointed his team didn't carry him off the field after that glorious victory. A self-deprecating man from the start, Hess quipped, "No, I was glad they didn't try to do that. As big as I am, they'd've had to made two trips."
A long, long nightmare began soon after that, plenty of two, three and some one win seasons. In the late 90's, Jim Grobe arrived for a brief moment of sunshine. But after he skated for Wake Forest, the Bobcats found themselves back in the college football abyss.
Until Solich arrived.
I found it ironic that Ohio can go to 10-3 with a win Thursday night against Central Michigan in the MAC Championship game. Nebraska fired Solich after the 2003 season for 'only going 9-3'.
Their loss, our gain.
Way to go Frank. We've been waiting for you....a long time.
I don't know what you do for a living, but if you have a contract, chances are if another business comes calling, your boss would tell you, 'sorry, you work for me until your contract is up'. It doesn't work that way in the world of big time college athletics. Routinely, coaches walk on contracts in pursuit of a better deal. But, they leave behind players tbey recruited who are tied to the university that holds their letters of intent. Does that seem a little unfar?
Shouldn't the player be granted his or her free agency, when the coach they agreed to play for decides his contract isn't as binding as theirs? The NCAA doesn't think so.
I have a theory: if one athletic director or university president has the guts to tell another school with more money who comes after their coach 'no', sorry, you can't talk to our guy he's under contract....if only one school will do that....scores of other schools would follow.
Which school will have the guts to say it? Whichever school it is will change the face of collegiate athletics forever....and for good.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
You want some NFL teams that have to win Sunday? How about the Jets at home against Houston.? At 5-5. the Jets are out of wiggle room....How about 5-5 Atlanta at home with 6-4 New Orleans? 9-7 might be enough for a wild card in the NFC, but there'll be a lot of 9-7 teams if this schedule plays out like I think it will....How about 6-4 Jacksonville at Buffalo? The Jags will catch a break. The weather is supposed to be decent in Buffalo. But the Jags need four more wins in their final six games to reach 10 wins, the minimum I believe for a wild card in the AFC....How about the 5-5 Bengals at the 3-7 Browns? Same deal as the Jags situation here. The Bengals need to get to ten wins and they have only six games to win five. Two of those remaining six are at Indianapolis and at Denver.
Friday, November 24, 2006
Check out the rest of www.kenbroo.com for other cool audio.
Glorious day to watch a game, full sun and temperatures hovering near 6o, unusual for this area of the country, this time of the year.
Yeager Stadium is one of the truly beautiful venues to watch a college game. So is Peden Stadium, in Athens for that matter.
There really is nothing quite like MAC football. It's offenses are generally varied, no two teams playing alike like you see in some conferences. And today's game featured big plays on both sides of the ball. Ohio's terrific running back, Kalvin McRae rushed for 180 yards and two long touchdowns. Miami's quarterback, Mike Kokal, on a fourth and one, tied the game at 24 with a 36 yard touchdown run. Ohio finally prevailed, despite dipping into the third string for its quarterback. Starter Austen Everson was held out, with a bad ankle. Back up Brad Bower fumbled on the Miami one, through the end zone for a touchback...then left later with an injury.
With the win, Ohio is now 9-3. It's been almost 40 years since it's been this good for the Bobcats. Now it's onto the MAC Championship game next Thursday night in Detroit against Central Michigan. A bowl trip, win or lose, awaits Ohio.
I realize, this may bore some of you. But what the hell, it's my blog isn't it? But if you're from Ohio, or attended either school, you should know the rivalry is strong again. Better days ahead for Miami. Rip 'em up, tear 'em up give 'em hell Ohio.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
In all honesty, before Chris Simms' season was ended by a ruptured spleen, the Bucs offense wasn't very good. And before going on IR, one time defensive terror, Simeon Rice had been reduced to a rumor on most Sundays. It may be age catching up with the Bucs. It may be something else.
Remember to get Jon Gruden away from the Raiders and Keyshawn Johnson away from the Jets, it cost the Buccaneers two first round draft picks in each transaction. Losing four first round picks in six years has crippled this franchise. That should be four impact players on the field for the Bucs right now.
The rebuilding job will be massive. Aging players like Rice, Derrick Brooks and Ronde Barber will need to be replaced, soon. There is the issue of who plays quarterback next season. Simms will be a restricted free agent and will draw interest. Current starter, Bruce Gradkowski was a sixth round pick and is nothing more than a stop gap for this season. And, the Bucs offensive line has been a cronic problem, pre-dating Gruden.
There is a lot of heavy lifting ahead for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Click the the "Podcasts & More" page you'll find on the sidebar menu.
If you live in the greater Cincinnati area, Sports Rock airs after the NFL game on WLWT channel 5.
And, if you log onto www.wlwt.com, you find an internet version. It's fast and it's opinionated. Check it out!
The Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day. I know, I know, I said I was a traditionalist. And the Lions on Thanksgiving Day pre-dates cranberries and stuffing. But until the Lions get better, until they prove to the football world they know what they're doing, the NFL needs to keep this team off national television on Thanksgiving Day. Watching the Lions is worse than indigestion.
The Lions have been so bad, for so long, it's borderline criminal. They can't draft (see Desmond Howard, Charles Rogers, Joey Harrington, etc.) and they haven't had a whiff of the playoffs since 1999.
When they had Barry Sanders, they used to be fun to watch. You knew the Lions were never going to get close to the Super Bowl, but at least their offense could score some points. And Sanders was always good for a couple of electrifing runs on turkey day.
Now the Lions are one of the NFL's doormats. Perhaps the NFL is aware that a lot of their teams don't want to play on Thanksgiving, have no interest in playing a 'short' week. Maybe the NFL is sensitive to the fact that Lions fans will leave their homes and dinners to watch their team play on a national holiday. But the rest of us deserve better. The Lions against the Dolphins? Time for a nap.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Also just added today, the latest Bengals Report podcast. Bengals Report executive editor, Marc Hardin and I discuss the Bengals win in New Orleans last Sunday. We've got some comments from the players on this podcast as well.
Check it out at www.kenbroo.com. Or, if you'd prefer, click here for a quick download of The Broo View.
Chad might say "sorry" for another reason Sunday. The past two games, he's amassed 450-receiving yards, a new NFL record. If Chad torches Russell, the "sorry" will fit.
The Bengals are still banged up. Levi Jones, Rich Braham, Kelley Washington all listed as doubtful for Sunday. Safety Dexter Jackson practiced today. He missed Sunday's game in New Orleans with an achilles heel problem. He's officially listed as questionable, which meands it's "50-50" that he plays.
Carson Palmer, named today the FEDEX player of the week. Well deserved.
More as the evening progresses here in chilly Cincinnati!
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
I'm sorry. If you're a Big East team, you do NOT lose to a Southern Conference team, at home, any time. Period.
Tonight, the Bearcats inside game was so sorry, they only got eight trips to the free throw line. Wofford went 29 times, converted on 23. If you don't have the smarts to challenge a mid-major (stretch) inside on your home court, you don't deserved to win. Period.
Deonta Vaughn turned in a brilliant game. He's only a freshman. But Vaughn dropped in nine three pointers. However, he also committed a foul with five seconds to go that allowed Wofford to take the lead. And worse, Vaughn had the ball for the final shot, needing only a two, and pulled up to take a three. Again, if you don't have the smarts to challenge a mid-major (stretch) inside on your home court, you don't deserve to win. Period. If Vaughn takes it inside, he may have a chance to draw a foul, go to the line and win the game. We'll never know.
UC is 3-1. It has played NOBODY in it's first four games. When the "somebodies" start showing up (e.g. UConn, Syracuse, Georgetown, etc.)it could get real ugly.
Monday, November 20, 2006
More to come...
Sunday, November 19, 2006
If Pittsburgh can beat Baltimore this weekend, in Baltimore, that would be a huge help. But in reality, the Bengals best shot at a playoff berth will be a 'wild card'. To get that, Cincinnati will have to steal a win from games at Indianpolis and/or Denver. Because it will take, in my humble estimation, ten wins to nail down a wild card.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Huge call, dumb play by Michigan's Shawn Crable....late hit, helmet to helmet hit on Troy Smith...automatic first down and the Buckeyes live on....Oh what a catch by Brian Robiskie...an outstanding catch after Smith's adlib...11 plays, 83 yards and a five play scoring drive...42-31...73 points in this game? Are you kidding me?
And another Ohio State turnover, third of the day. OSU center playing with a cast, apparently not a problem in games before this one...but it's been an issue today...
And another third down when Michigan throws, instead of runs....even though they've seemed to have figured out teh OSU run defense.
South Carolina played Middle Tennessee today? What was the point of that? What did the Gamecocks prove by beating up on a mid-major (stretch) 52-7?....same deal with Florida and Western Carolina...62-0....somebody please step in and prevent these mid majors (stretch) over scheduling late in the year to pay some bills....somebody has to say 'no'....
3rd and short and you're running on OSU successfully and you throw??? Bo isn't happy....this should be overturned on review....ball hit the ground....but Michigan will be punting....
Ooops...who do you blame for the fumbled snap....it was high, but Smith should have had it. Big, big break for Michigan as we go to the 4th quarter
Florida State beats Western Michigan, in Tallahassee, 28-20...Bobby Bowden fired his offensive coordinator this week, who also happens to be his son....you wonder when Bobby will decide to sail into his sunset....Both Miami and Florida State going through down seasons....
just saw the Virginia-Miami score...17-7 Virginia...anybody want to guess what date Larry Coker gets 'launched'?.....
Explosive plays...a 'wow' right back at Michigan...back in this game with that outstanding toss to Abraham Arrington...
UK 42-40 over University of Louisiana-Monroe....that's a little embarrassing, don't you think?...not as embarrassing as losing the game, of course..
TE now open for the Buckeyes...three tosses to the TE on this current drive....and a fourth now for a touchdown....lead back up to 14 for the Buckeyes....at the half
Brady Quinn, Notre Dame quarterback, now with 90 career TD's....
Rivalry week...Auburn up 14-3 on Alabama...Up until a couple of weeks ago, Auburn had a legitimate shot at the national title....
OSU's defense beginning to get into a rthym now...field position will be a large part of how this game plays out.
Traction on the recently replanted OSU turf seems to be dicey...it's only been three weeks since this most recent resurfacing
There's another good BCS match up in Ohio tonight...unbeaten Rutgers plays at Cincinnati. UC's defense was ripped apart pretty good by West Virginia last week...Rutgers like to run...22,000 tickets have reportedly been sold for the 7:45pm start...
University of Kentucky is talking contract extention with the under achieving Rich Brooks....you think maybe that should wait until we see how UK does against Louisiana-Monroe today? UK is trailing by a point, in a shootout, third quarter, 34-33....what is UK doing playing a team like Louisiana-Monroe this late in the season....memo to UK, get real with your scheduling....
Friday, November 17, 2006
I was in Bo's presence several times, when I was the play-by-play broadcaster for the Cincinnati Bengals. We always saw the Lions in the pre-season and Bo was involved with their broadcasts. I found the man 'larger than life'.
It occured to me today, as I heard about his passing that there are no 'larger than life' coaches anymore. Bob Knight, for a lot of reasons, Bill Parcells and Joe Paterno come close. Maybe it's because we live in the 300 channel universe and all things sports seem to on TV. Television, particularly live television, has a way of de-mystifying people. In most instances, that's a good thing. In a sports sense, it's probably a good thing too.
But today, I miss that. Bo against Woody. Did it ever get any better than that?
The battle between OSU and Michigan will probably eliminate one team from the BCS Championship game. A win by UC Saturday will surely eliminate Rutgers from any championship game consideration. Rutgers is still a long shot, even with a win in Cincinnati.
But in a sense, this is a much bigger game for UC. It has been on national television twice this season, winning once, losing once.. But the bigger story than the games with Pitt and South Florida has been the pathetic attendance. It was so bad at the South Florida game, that the ESPN director was instructing his camera people to 'shoot tight' to avoid showing the enormous amount of empty seats.
UC football has never been the 'thing to do' in Cincinnati. It's campus is tough to get to, tough to find parking on and not exactly surrounded by the safest neighborhood in Cincinnati. For all of those reasons, the discretionary ticket buyer has avoided UC football.
There's another reason why UC struggles to get fans to Nippert: it's brand of football hasn't exactly been the most exciting variety. Under previous coach, Rick Minter, defense was stressed. Under current coach, Mark Dantonio (one of the truly great people and rising stars in the coaching profession), ball control offense has been the hallmark.
Like it or not, what will attract a crowd to a product that historically has struggled (and it doesn't matter if it's football or food products) is excitement, a 'buzz', a 'got to get there, got to have it' kind of thing. UC football is competing for the entertainment dollar. It has to appeal to the fringe fan, who would just as well spend his or her dollar on a movie as they would go to a football game in Clifton. The way to create that excitement, that buzz, is to field a team that has an offense that can score from anywhere, 'light it up'. Most coaches hate that, because it takes a large amount of control out of their hands. Turnovers become more of a factor, your defense will have to spend more time on the field because you either turn it over of score quickly, and your quarterback needs to he 'on' every game. Coaches hate to give up control of anything, most of all their on field product.
But, if UC were to go down that road, I believe it would begin building a stronger following. Remember, this is still a commuter school. Students and faculty leave the campus in droves Friday evenings and don't return until the following Monday. UC is battling that, too. But, everybody loves a good time, everybody loves a party. Create that atmosphere on the field, and that program will have a chance. It's a leap of faith, philosophically, for Dantonio and his staff. But I believe they have the talent to pull it off.
Now, to the other 'big game'. Unless you've lived through it, unless you've attended Ohio University, suffered with their football team and its string of broken promises, bad coaches and awful records, it's tough to fully appreciate what happened in Athens, Ohio, Thursday night. Last night, Ohio University won the MAC East division.....in football. Just stringing those words together would, in most years, be cause for loved ones to have you seek help.
Ohio (they've pretty much dropped the University part and for God sake, don't ever say Ohio U again) dominated Akron, enroute to a 17-7 win. It pushed the Bobcats record this season to 8-3, with a game at rival Miami coming up next Friday. The 'Cats have a spot in the MAC Championship game on November 30 against Central Michigan.
The architect behind all of this is head coach, Frank Solich. Fired by Nebraska in 2004 for having the audacity to only go 9-3 (and a win over Miami next week would give him the same record at OU), Solich has taken a rag tag bunch of left overs from his predecessor, added two of his own recruiting classes and has pulled the Bobcats out of the abyss with an option offense and a defensive strategy straight out of the Big 12. The Bobcats have gone on the road this season and beaten MAC pre-season champion pick Northern Illinois, MAC east division pre-season pick Kent State and pulled off an upset win at Big Ten Illinois. Their only losses were to Bowling Green, at Missouri and at Rutgers. This isn't a Cinderella season in Athens, Ohio. This is Walt Disney opening the entire vault.
The brains behind this operation is Ohio University school President, Dr. Roderick McDavis, who hired Solich and paid him a salary the second highest on campus, only to his. McDavis watched in late 2004 when five MAC football teams marched to bowl games (and minimum $750,000 pay days) and figured hiring a big time coach and finally fixing the football team would accomplish two things. One, if it won, it would bring in money that would help pay for the rest of his athletic program that had often operated in the 'red'. Two, it would get some positive publicity for his school, often confused nationally with Ohio State and worse Miami, Ohio.
Academia, I'm told, scoffed at the idea and bristled when McDavis paid Solich a salary approaching $250,000 a year. Memo to academia: nobody in the chemistry department, or biology lab or in the english department gets in the newspaper or on the nightly TV news unless they find a formula for synthetic gas, develope a cure for the common cold or write modern day Shakespeare. That's a tough one for academia to handle, I know. I love teachers. None of us would be where we are without them. But in colleges, athletics have always been the calling card for a university to sell it's other products. Get 'em in the tent with athletics, then tell them the good news about your academics. McDavis 'got' that.
With Thursday night's win, Ohio (U) will go to a bowl game. Solich will be hailed and probably forgiven for his DUI in Athens last winter. The University can now tell its story to the nation on a higher platform. It's Scripps School of Journalism, its radio-tv department, its business school, it's school of oesteopathic medicine and the rest of what makes Ohio University special will get more of a national spotlight.
It's been a long time coming. It may be only football. But this is why it matters. It is great to be finally out of the hole.
Come on over to my web site: www.kenbroo.com. I'll see you there!
AND...just posted, the latest edition of Bengals Report. Bengals Report executive editor, Marc Hardin and I have a preview of the Bengals vs Saints this Sunday in New Orleans.
You've got the links to both shows....but go to the my web site, www.kenbroo.com for some other cool stuff.
More, after some serious sleep
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Don't expect Sean Casey back in a Cincinnati uniform anytime soon. The ex-Reds first baseman just re-upped today with the Detroit Tigers. It's a one year deal, valued well below the $8 million Casey pulled in last season.
Updates coming later today.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Good stuff on this one. Bengals sounding off on the state of affairs with that team. Colerain HS football coach, Kerry Coombs at his finest. Don't live in the greater Cincinnati area? Listen to this guy. There's a reason why we call him 'The Quintessential High School Football Coach" and if you listen to this latest Broo View, you'll understand why. We've also got UC football coach, Mark Dantonio talking about his team's upcoming game against Rutgers and Bengal Sam Adams speaks out on his newest business venture, owning an Arena Football League team in Cincinnati.
Quick hits from this afternoon...TJ Houshmandzadeh says Marlon McCree left voice mail, apologizing for the cheap shot he laid on TJ Sunday....Jerry Narron got votes today for NL Manager of the Year....an out of work manager won it: Joe Girardi, late of the Marlins.....AL award, no brainer, Jim Leyland....Big night for the Miami RedHawks, football at Bowling Green, basketball at Kentucky....they'll go 0-2....
Waiting to hear Marvin Lewis' news conference in a few minutes. It'll be interesting to hear if he any further comments on how he's going to tweak his roster.
Waiting to hear Marvin Lewis' news conference in a few minutes. It'll be interesting to hear if he any further comments on how he's going to tweak his roster.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
It's a step up from the team that's been in the US Bank Arena the past couple of years, the Marshals of the NIFL. They're apparently going to stay in existence and play in Mason. The Jungle Kats will play in the Arena2 league, or A2, which is a step below the Arena League games you saw on Channel 5 last summer. In fact, you won't be seeing any Arena League games on channel 5 anytime soon. NBC punted the contract.
No major news from the Bengals today. The latest Broo View is still in production. I'm hoping for something later tonight. Head to www.kenbroo.com. The latest sports headlines are on the front page. Just scroll down.
Updates when warranted.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Lewis also said Dexter Jackson was just frustrated when he said that certain players on the defensive side of the ball 'quit' in Sunday's second half. Interestingly enough, this is the third week in a row that Lewis has spun a player's post game comments on the following day.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh said Monday that the hit that the Chargers Marlon McCree delivered to his head appeared to be just a football player, nothing more. Still, McCree will probably still draw a fine from the NFL.
The latest Broo View is in production. Check my web site www.kenbroo.com mid day Tuesday.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Disturbing is the only word you can use to describe the Bengals latest loss. Well, OK, I can think of a few other ones....but not for this blog. Losing is one thing. Having 49 points dropped on you is another. But allowing a team you had down, 28-7 at halftime to come back and beat you? That's inexcusable.
Random thoughts on this loss to the Chargers....Chris Henry is playing with fear. For the second week in a row, he failed to go all out to catch a pass. Actually, he did this twice on Sunday. The ball he 'alligator armed' in the end zone cost the Bengals a chance to tie the game. Given all of his off field trouble last winter, and now this, the Bengals have some serious decisions to make about this guy...Safety Dexter Jackson, the former Super Bowl MVP said after the game today certain players 'quit'....Marvin Lewis looked simply bewildered at the game's end....Marlon McCree's cheap shot on TJ Houshmandzadeh will surely draw a heavy fine....TJ said on the locker room radio show that he knows McCree hangs out in LA and that TJ and some of his posse may have to "kick his ass" in the off-season...This was Carson Palmer's best game yet, further proof he was anything but 100 percent to start this season...The Saints rolled up 450 yards of total offense against the Steelers today.....That means next week's game between the Saints and Bengals will probably have a final score of 17-10...It will probably be another shootout....Three games out of first place in the AFC North with seven to go, realistically the Bengals will have to go 5-2 in their final seven to have a shot at the playoffs...Even at 5-2, they'd finish 9-7...road games at New Orleans, Indianapolis an Denver make 5-2 a bit of a reach....Ken
Friday, November 10, 2006
You can also access the latest edition of Bengals Report by clicking here. But if you go to my web site....you'll also get the latest sports headlines, my personal podcast The Broo View and the most opinionated show in cyber space: Broo v. Broo.
Check it out.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
It appears the Bengals will be without the following players for this Sunday's game with the Chargers: Rich Braham, Kelley Washington, Brian Simmons, Kevin Kaesviharn and Levi Jones.
UC opens the basketball season this Friday night against Howard. Xavier opens Saturday against Coastal Carolina. Both should be glorified scrimmages.
Is it just me, or do you want to fast-forward to a week from this Saturday? OSU-Michigan is on the horizon.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Join Bengals Report executive editor, Marc Hardin and me as we break it all down.
You can click here to get the latest episode of Bengals Report.
But you can also go to my web site: www.kenbroo.com and check out all the other neat things there.
I've got interviews with Rudi Johnson, Carson Palmer and Marvin Lewis about where the Bengals are right now, and how they think they can 'right the ship'.
Click the link below to go straight to my latest podcast THE BROO VIEW
THE BROO VIEW
Ready for some hard, in your face sports opinion? You've got to check out Broo v. Broo. You can find that and the latest edition of Bengals Report on my web site. Twice a week, I'm joined by the executive editor of Bengals Report, Marc Hardin. Together, we review last week's game and preview the upcoming Bengals game.
You'll also find some great audio from the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cincinnati Reds
And to visit my web site click this link: